Traditionally in Italy, duck was considered the food of the poor. These days, it's got new status as a global delicacy. Slow braised on the bone until meltingly tender, this ragù works equally well with paccheri, penne or gnocchi.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (46 votes)


  • 4 duck marylands
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) white wine
  • 800 g tin peeled tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 g fresh egg pappardelle pasta
  • finely shaved parmesan, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Wash the duck and pat dry with paper towel. Season to taste with salt.

Place a large casserole pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the duck to the pan, skin-side down. Cook for 4–5 minutes, in batches if necessary, until most of the fat has rendered out. Turn and cook for a further 1–2 minutes until well browned. Remove the duck and set aside.

Tip all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat from the pan and add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme. Cook, for 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens. Return the duck to the pan and deglaze with the white wine. Continue to cook until most of the wine has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and bay leaves. Season to taste, bring to a simmer and cook for 1½ –2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to ensure the sauce doesn’t catch, and until the duck is falling from the bone. If the sauce looks dry during cooking, add some chicken stock or water. Once cooked, turn off the heat and remove the duck from the pan. Allow to cool.

When cool enough to handle, remove the fat from the duck and discard. Shred meat into small pieces, return the duck to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning.

Cook pappardelle in salted boiling water following packet directions. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss gently to combine.

Serve pasta in deep bowls and top with parmesan.


Photography by Alan Benson